BANTEAY MEANCHEY Province - Ieng Thirith, the wife of deceased former Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary, will arrive in Malai district, Banteay Meanchey province, Wednesday for the funeral of her husband, family members said Tuesday.
Ieng Thirith had been on trial with her husband for atrocity crimes before the UN-backed tribunal found her mentally unfit to stand trial last year. The cremation ceremony of Ieng Sary, who died in Phnom Penh March 14, will take place on Thursday. Family members say Ieng Thirith is ill, but will be able to travel.
Mourners continue to visit the wooden house in Dong village, Malai province, where Ieng Sary lies in state, while monks pray over his body three times per day.
Ieng Sary’s death adds to concerns the Khmer Rouge tribunal has been too slow in its proceedings, and that two more aging leaders—Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan—may not see their atrocity crimes trial to its conclusion.
The tribunal is also facing ongoing funding woes. Cambodian staff at the court have not been paid their salaries since December, prompting a walkout by translators there that lasted more than two weeks earlier this month. The translators have returned to work, with some of their salaries to be paid by upcoming funding, but the larger money issues remain.
David Scheffer, a former US ambassador-at-large for war crimes the UN's special expert for the tribunal, is visiting Cambodia this week to meet with Cambodian officials, officials said. A diplomat close to the court said Scheffer will meet with Cabinet Minister Sok An on Wednesday to discuss funding.
International donors have affirmed their commitment to the court, but they want to see the Cambodian government contribute more to the court, as well as other Asean countries, said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.